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Racism fuelled Lukaku goal hunger

Published 23/04/2015

Everton's Romelu Lukaku used racism as extra motivation as a young striker
Everton's Romelu Lukaku used racism as extra motivation as a young striker

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku dealt with racism as a youngster by using it as an added motivation to score goals.

The Belgium international revealed he encountered abuse playing in youth teams back in his homeland but found the perfect response.

"I didn't suffer too much but when you hear it for the first time you are like 'Oh my God'," said the 21-year-old, speaking at a Kick It Out session at a school in Liverpool.

"But I just responded by scoring goals. I used it as motivation.

"I remember one game for Anderlecht under-15s, a parent said something but we ended up winning 7-1 and I scored four, so it doesn't matter.

"I've not experienced it (racism) like other players but it is still out there, we all know that."

Lukaku is Everton's top scorer this season with 18 goals. Most have come playing as a lone front man but he said he likes having someone alongside him and is hoping to strike up a partnership with Arouna Kone, who has managed just one goal in 21 starts over almost two injury-ravaged seasons.

"There were some games where I used to play down the sides, it didn't work out for me," Lukaku told the Liverpool Echo.

"In all the games when I've played as a striker I have scored goals so when the manager switched over with two strikers with Arouna, that was heaven for me because I could do whatever I wanted because there was somebody next to me who had a work ethic the same as me. It was very pleasing.

"The manager knew that if I had that type of distraction next to me on the pitch then I would be much more free to score and create goals.

"Now, when you play with somebody next to you, you always know you are in a one v one situation."

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